Netherlands PV market expanded by 46% in 2018

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The Dutch solar market grew 46% year-on-year in 2018, thanks to newly deployed capacity of 1,330 MW which raised the Netherlands’ cumulative figure to more than 4.24 GW, according to the Nationaal Solar Trendrapport 2019, released by consultancy Dutch New Energy.

Of the new capacity deployed last year, 658 MW was installed in the first half and 672 MW thereafter. Around 38% came in the form of residential installations – down from 49% a year earlier – with the remaining capacity commercial and industrial and large-scale PV, market segments which together totalled 51% in 2017.

The figures for 2018 made up the largest growth registered in the country in terms of new solar. In 2017 new capacity came in at 853 MW and in 2016 and 2015 the volumes recorded were 525 MW and 467 MW, respectively.

“The Dutch PV market grew almost twice as fast as the global market in 2018,” the authors of the report said. “This ensures that solar module prices will play a relatively smaller role in total system costs while other components, such as installation costs, may become more important in the future.”

Vietnamese imports dominate

In 2018, the Dutch custom authorities recorded €1.95 billion of solar imports, with Vietnam-based producers accounting for the largest share, with 27%, followed by manufacturers from China (16%), South Korea (15%), Malaysia (12%) and Thailand (10%).

The report revealed the average output of PV modules increased from 278 W to 288 W last year, and average installed power per household grew year-on-year, from 3.44 kW to 3.68 kW.

The nation’s largest operational PV project is the 54.5 MW Solarpark Scaldia, which was selected in the 2016 autumn round of the SDE+ incentive program for utility-scale renewable energy plants. Two more projects with capacities of 109 MW and 103 MW are under construction by Dutch developer Powerfield, the report noted.

In 2017, solar accounted for around 59% of total capacity allocated through the SDE+ program, with approximately 1,911 MW. Last year, for which only first-half data is currently available, PV claimed a 67% share of the incentive scheme, with around 1,710 MW. Overall, the analysts expect 3.7 GW of allocated solar for 2018.

“A strong reduction in the cost of solar power, the fact that a large part of the SDE+ subsidy – Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production – is awarded to solar power and the growing awareness of the need for sustainability, ensure the fast growth of solar energy in the Netherlands,” said Rolf Heynen, CEO of Dutch New Energy Research.